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Transmittal Letter

December 2008

The Honorable Rick Perry, Governor
The Honorable David Dewhurst, Lieutenant Governor
The Honorable Thomas R. Craddick, Speaker of the House
Members of the 81st Legislature

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Little that we address as elected officials demands greater attention than the property tax. The local property tax affects every type of local government in Texas as well as nearly all Texas businesses and families. While the local property tax provides funding for many vital public projects, from roads to schools, it also presents challenges to taxpayers and public officials alike.

In this report, we provide state leaders and Texas citizens with valuable information regarding the property tax, including property values, tax rates and tax levies. The report reviews the role appraisal districts play in the property tax system and examines trends in property values, tax rates and tax levies for school districts, counties, cities and special-purpose districts.

As we continue to seek ways to provide Texans with the best schools for the lightest taxation possible, we must understand all of the intricacies, limits and possibilities of our property tax system. My office will continue to do its part by seeking more efficient means of providing customer service to property taxpayers and local officials alike. I recently reorganized my property tax assistance division to ensure efficiency and transparency in the manner we provide assistance to appraisal districts, and will continue to seek better means of providing much-needed assistance in this important area.

I hope you will find this report helpful.

Sincerely,

Susan Combs

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